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Is a young doctor more likely to make mistakes?

Your doctor retires, and it is time to find a new physician. You begin looking around and find someone close to your house. You go in for your first meeting with them to see if the relationship is going to work and to give them your medical history.

But what surprises you is just how young your doctor seems. The doctor you worked with previously had been working in the industry for decades. This doctor has maybe a few years of experience. Are they going to make more mistakes? Should you keep looking until you find someone who is a bit older?

Mistakes can happen

Some people believe that getting a young doctor is going to mean that they do not get the higher level of care that they need. Much of this fear is rooted in inexperience. If the doctor simply hasn’t been working for as long, patients will be worried that they could make mistakes. And it is true that mistakes can happen and that a doctor who has seen patients with similar symptoms for decades may be able to make a faster, more accurate diagnosis.

However, that’s not to say that older doctors are not also going to make errors. For example, there’s some evidence that clinical knowledge declines. A doctor who graduated from school 30 years ago simply isn’t going to be up-to-date with the newest technology and developments. Additionally, patients sometimes worry about any amount of cognitive or physical decline that may come as their doctor ages and how that could impact the level of care that they provide for their patients.

In other words, there are advantages to having a young doctor, and there are advantages to having an older doctor. But both of these doctors could theoretically make mistakes that have a major impact on your quality of life. If something like this does happen to you, then it’s important for you to understand if it’s a medical malpractice case, and exactly what legal steps you can take to seek compensation.